The ‘Shrek’ pit chronicles

By Ande Jacobson

Shrek the Musical is one of those shows that people seem to either love or hate. The story started as a book by William Steig in 1990, became a DreamWorks Animation film in 2001, and finally in December 2008 opened on Broadway as the aforementioned musical. A video of the Broadway production was later released in 2013 on DVD, Blu-ray, and as a digital download. It’s also one of those shows that keeps popping up around the country and around the world in various productions at all levels. Because it features a large cast and is very family friendly, it is a frequent favorite among youth theaters. It also continues to attract adult community theaters and even regional professional companies. Given its ubiquity, one would expect this show to be a perennial crowd favorite, and yet, within the theater community, it evokes strong reactions, both positive and negative. Continue reading

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FMT lets its Freak Flag fly!

By Ande Jacobson

This summer, Foothill Music Theatre (FMT) shows its heart with its rendition of Shrek The Musical. The show is based on the animated DreamWorks film, Shrek, and it puts all of the magic and message of the film live on stage. The musical version (with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori) debuted on Broadway in 2008 and in London in 2011. Since then, the show continues to be a family-friendly audience favorite as it now makes the rounds in regional and community theatres.

The story is, in broad strokes, a sassy mashup of traditional fairy tales mixed with some current events. Its well-known Freak Flag anthem packs a powerful, positive message about celebrating one’s uniqueness. The lively story turns the traditional boy meets girl theme on its head with a clever twist and sends audiences home in high spirits. Continue reading